I had an apostrophe! I read three pages into a new book and out of nowhere came the answer to a question I've been laboring with from the very beginning of AFDOC: how to get the reader to realize in the first chapter that the book is more than a 50s family on a picnic. It is a serious retrospective on the changes WWII brought to the US, the impact that death of friends and family have on our psyches, and a true coming-of-age story for a naive twelve year-old-girl. I put down the book I'd just started, grabbed a pad and pencil, and rushed to get my ideas on the paper before I lost them.
Setting up a hook in a mystery or other plot driven book is not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but setting up the hook in a first person, present tense, character driven book seemed almost impossible. Foreshadowing is essential, but neither the protagonist nor any of the other characters know what's going to happen, and I despise hokey set-ups, so my alternative was to use words - ah, beautiful words - and a few slight-of-hands to take the reader where I want her to go. Since no one but me has seen the revisions I can only hope at this point that I finally got there. I'll keep you posted.